The evolution of the smart phone has dramatically changed parts of every day life. In the case of consumer banking, executives from both small and large financial institutions are realizing how vital a mobile presence is for their customers. Citi’s second annual mobile banking study finds that of the 2,000 US adults surveyed, mobile banking app use accounted for 31% of importance, ranked third behind social media (55%) and weather apps (33%), respectively.
That data point supports a couple of high-level views that bankers have been talking about at industry conferences the last two years as brands put more emphasis on the digital customer experience. Their views are that a mobile banking app can be a central point in a consumer’s digital life, and that banks are now competing in a field now filled with non-financial institutions, such as social media companies, retailers, and apps like Uber, when it comes to providing an ideal mobile experience.
“Some of the [results] were validation of where things are going while other things were really interesting to me, such as the acceleration of mobile banking in people’s lives,” Alice Milligan, Citi’s chief digital client experience officer, to industry media during a luncheon ahead of the study’s official release.
The Rise of Mobile Adoption
Milligan has also gone on to say that “mobile banking usage is skyrocketing as more consumers experience the benefits of greater convenience, speed and financial insights driven by new app features and upgrades. Over the past year we’ve witnessed this increase in engagement first-hand, with mobile usage in North America increasing by almost 25%, and we don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon.”
The survey has also found that 46% of consumers have increased their mobile banking usage in 2017. Around 81% of consumers use mobile banking nine days a month, while 31% do so 10 or more times per month. Furthermore, 91% of mobile banking users prefer using their app over going to a physical branch, and 68% of millennials who use mobile banking see their smartphones taking the place of their physical wallets.
Trust in Traditional Banking
Nevertheless, the study went on to report that 87% of Americans still trust traditional banks more than non-bank financial institutions. When it relates to personal information on their phones, 45% of consumers would feel more uncomfortable about others seeing their banking information, far ahead or their photos (24%) and texts (21%). The aforementioned information underscores the notion that the high degree of trust in banks is majorly driven by security offerings. The information also points out the importance of rigorous security protocols to help keep this information private.
The Bottom Line
As payments are going digital and as more services are being taken online and into people’s pockets, the study from Citi has shown that mobile banking is becoming an essential part of everyday life. The convenience of accessibility, speed, and financial insights have made the option incredibly attraction for a significant portion of the American population. While customers are still known to rely on traditional banks for security purposes, the data is very telling that, in order to stay competitive, traditional banks must commit to mobile solutions.